Nashville Predators 6, Philadelphia Flyers 5: What. Just. Happened.

The Predators scored twice in the final two minutes to get a huge win. Dave Hakstol assisted on one of them.

The Predators got their first win of the year and BOY WAS IT A WIN.

After building a 3-0 lead and with a raucous Bridgestone cheering them on, the Predators quickly lost all momentum. The Flyers scored five goals in a row in the second and third period, ruining everyone’s fun. But a late game comeback—combined with a complete bonehead move by Flyers coach Dave Hakstol—fueled a crazy three goal third period by the Predators. They won the game 6-5 and I’m not sure how.

Things started off nicely for the Preds. After a Claude Giroux penalty, Craig Smith scored a power play goal to make it 1-0. It was a slick shot from the high slot, set up by Kevin Fiala. Following that, the Preds kept the pressure on the Flyers, generating several good chances on Brian Elliott. They went to the 1st intermission with a 1-0 lead.

After killing a penalty to start the 2nd period, the Predators continued the hot start. Scott Hartnell pounced on a big rebound and slapped it home for a 2-0 lead. Pontus Aberg’s initial shot was a long-ranger, but forced Elliott to make a tough save. Then soon after, Mattias Ekholm skated in and around the Flyers’ zone with the puck, crashed the net, and left a loose puck for Nick Bonino to score with. It was 3-0 at that point and the Preds were rolling.

Things changed quickly.

Andrew MacDonald (yes, Andrew MacDonald) scored to get the Flyers on the board. Then 16 seconds later, Nolan Patrick scored his first career goal to make it 3-2. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE. Valteri Filppula scored on the power play to tie the game 3-3.

A 3-0 lead was gone in about 10 minutes due to some poor defensively play and the Preds committing one too many penalties.


The Flyers scored two more goals to make it 5-3, one by Travis Konecny and the other by Filppula. All the air went out of the room. It returned briefly when Filip Forsberg scored to make it 5-4. Things got real interesting when the Predators earned a 5-on-3 power play with less than three minutes left. Scott Hartnell (love youuu) scored on a rebound to tie the game, with Pekka Rinne pulled.

Then things got REAL interesting.

Flyers coach Dave Hakstol challenged the Hartnell goal for offsides, even though the NHL made a rule change this year where if your challenge fails on an offside call, your team gets a delay of game penalty. And that’s exactly what happened.

So the Predators went BACK on the 5-on-3 with less than a minute remaining. And with 36 seconds left, Filip Forsberg hammered home the go ahead goal.

Final score: SIX to FIVE. Predators win.

The team introductions and banner hanging ceremony was really cool. The first period was also cool. The second period stunk.

But that finish was one of the most bizarrely entertaining things I’ve seen at a sporting event. Huge win for Nashville.

Random Observations

  • High energy start for the Preds is good to see. Arvidsson gets a breakaway almost immediately, but is stopped. Roof woulda cracked had he scored.
  • Power play upcoming...
  • SMITTY!! He scores on a shot from the high slot, a laser over Elliott’s shoulder.
  • So far, things look a lot better in these first 15 minutes. So far.
  • Smith on the top line, I like. Not sure if I like Forsberg with Bonino. Fil needs someone creative next to him, someone with better vision.
  • BOOM. HARTNELL. What a shot on the big rebound from Elliott.
  • That made it get loud in here.
  • Sam Girard has been very impressive so far.
  • Bonino with his first!! A scrum in front after some really nice skating from Ekholm. It’s 3-0, whattttttt
  • Welp, there goes the shutout. MacDonald just scored. Wait... MacDonald?
  • Oh god. Now Nolan Patrick scores and it’s 3-2. What is happening.
  • Annnd it’s tied. Filppula, on the power play. Yuck yuck yuck.
  • After a bounce back few minutes for the Preds, the Flyers take the lead. Konecny had a  chance at a breakaway and Emelin was the only guy that could catch him. Of course, he didn’t, and Konecny went top shelf on Rinne.
  • Another goal for the Flyers. The wheels have come off.
  • Orrr maybe just one of them is off. Forsberg with a nasty goal off of a nasty lob pass from Johansen. Maybe hold the phone?
  • OMG. Hakstol just challenged. What a decision.
  • What an insane win. /

Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Scott Hartnell: He does exactly what you need him to. Two goals tonight on six shots. What a player he is.
  2. Filip Forsberg: Two goals, one assist, and he looks like a completely different player than last October. So smooth and so strong.
  3. Mattias Ekholm: Excellent job working with the new kid. Also nabbed two assists AND got both calls on two give the Preds a 5-on-3 late.

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